The Church of God and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, in cooperation with the Church of God Black Ministries, invites the public to celebrate a week of recognition in honor of Black History Month.
Dr. Kenneth Hill, coordinator of Black Ministries for the United States and Canada, said churches in both countries plan to join in the celebration.
“It is really an International Church of God event that shares with our general church and the public the awareness of the contributions made by men and women of African descent,” Hill said. “It is kind of a celebration to remind us why Black History Month is being celebrated.”
The events are primarily spread across Thursday, Feb. 6, Friday, Feb. 7, and Sunday, Feb. 9.
The seminary at 900 Walker St. N.E. will host Thursday’s events starting with an 11 a.m. chapel service. Dr. Clifton Clarke is set to speak at Cross Chapel in the seminary on “Simone of Cyrene: The Legacy of Black Faith.”
A lunch, lecture and panel discussion by Michael Reynolds will follow the chapel presentation. Panel speakers will include Dr. Jewrell Rivers, Dr. Estrelda Alexander, Capt. Marlene Lucas, Bishop Wayne Solomon and Dr. David Roebuck. Both the speaker and panel plan to discuss “Identity and Pentecostalism.”
Anyone interested in attending must contact Lora Langford at loralangford@ptseminary, no later than today.
Thursday’s activities will end with a 7 p.m. showing of “Amazing Grace” at the seminary’s Cross Chapel.
According to Hill, this year’s Black Ministries Celebration Week theme is “Lord, Make Us One.”
He cited Luke chapter 17, verses 20-21 as accompanying Scripture.
The verses read, “Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.’”
The kingdom of God, according to Luke, is within all who believe.
Friday in turn will be dedicated to the work completed by those of African descent within the Church of God.
All events will take place within the Church of God International Offices at 2490 Keith St. N.W.
Roebuck will kick off Friday’s activities with a presentation titled “The Worlds of Edmond & Rebecca Barr.” Additional speakers will include Michael Swann and Alexander. The event will start at 10 a.m. within the Leadership and Communications Building.
Hill said the Barrs, a married couple of African descent, traveled outside of the United States’ borders in 1909 to spread the good news before any other Church of God ministers.
A lunch and discussion will follow at 11:30 a.m. with speaker Dr. R. Lamar Vest at the Leadership and Communications Building. Vest will speak on the Center for Spiritual Leadership & Lifelong Learning.
Dr. Kenneth Hill will present a list of the Black Ministries’ accomplishments at 1 p.m. in the same building.
Recognition will once again return to the Revs. Edmond and Rebecca Barr at 2:30 in the Prayer Plaza. Church of God officials will reveal a memorial dedication in the late couple’s honor.
Friday’s last activity will be a worship service and reception at 7 p.m. in the Living Stone Church of God at 4230 Benton Drive, Chattanooga.
According to Hill, a special announcement will top off the Black Ministries Celebration Week.
He said, “On Sunday, Feb. 9, around the world the Church of God will recognize the second Sunday of every February as Black Ministries Awareness Sunday.”
He offered special thanks to those who helped the celebratory week come about.
“I just want to commend our International Executive Committee and the Historical Commission for allowing this recognition to take place in the International Church of God offices,” Hill said.